FIVE people - including a convicted drug dealer and his "second in command" mother - have been found guilty by a jury of conspiring to supply almost £2 million of cocaine in Newport.

Jerome Nunes, aged 28, of Livingstone Place, Blane Nunes, 26, and Angela Collingbourne, 51, both of Jenkins Street, Tia Donovan-Jones, aged 18, of Brookfield Close, and Khaleem Hussain, 24, of Fleetwood Close, all in Newport, had denied that they were members of a sophisticated organised crime gang that controlled what a prosecutor called "a significant proportion" of the city's drugs trade.

But a jury at Newport Crown Court found them guilty of conspiring to supply class A drugs, following a trial lasting four weeks.

Sentencing of the five - along with others who had previously pleaded guilty to charges arising out of a police operation code named Operation Finch - will begin on March 29.

A sixth defendant - Jonathan James, 29, of Ringland, Newport - was found not guilty on the conspiracy charge.

During the trial, lead prosecutor Andrew Jones told the jury that the gang was a “family-run business” led by convicted drug dealer Jerome Nunes, with his mother Angela Collingbourne and his brother Blane Nunes being part of its “management team”.

It operated out of a garage business - NP19 Tyres - in the city's Cromwell Road, used a mobile phone hotline to sell drugs, and had a caravan and several rural "stash locations" in the Goldcliff area of the city to store cocaine.

The gang had, said Mr Jones, controlled "a significant proportion of the Newport drugs trade", was sophisticated and covert, and carried out its criminal enterprise with precision.

“It could be said that this is a family run business," said Mr Jones, adding that the Nunes brothers and Collingbourne were at its heart.

He said cocaine was "the drug of choice" for the gang, and the conspiracy had taken place over a period of almost two years.

Deliveries were captured in audio recordings and, based on calculations from recorded conversations, the prosecution claimed between £1.7m and £1.9m of cocaine was sold, or between 17.21kilograms and 19.65kg.

“Quite simply a staggering amount of drugs was sold onto the streets of Newport by this group,” said Mr Jones.

The jury was told that Jerome Nunes, serving a prison sentence for an earlier offence of possessing cocaine with intent to supply, had controlled the gang's activities whilst in custody, using "an extensive network of illicit mobile telephones, orchestrating the trade of cocaine and giving instructions to members of his organisation".

Collingbourne had been responsible for managing the gang's funds and facilitating and maintaining control of the the mobile telephone trading line.

Blane Nunes was described by Mr Jones as "the operations manager" who oversaw the daily running of the lucrative hotline number, and the storage and preparation of the drugs.